Fantasy: Start, Sit, Stash, Quit - Week 13
SSSQ is a weekly look at underappreciated fantasy players to consider starting and potential busts you should leave on your bench. We also identify breakout candidates to stash on your roster and players you can safely cut.
Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars
Lawrence has quietly improved during his sophomore campaign, and fantasy managers should take notice.
Over his last six games, the former first-round pick was a fantasy QB1 five times and managed four top-six finishes.
Now he gets to face a Lions defense that's allowed the most fantasy points to opposing passers this season, which should result in another strong performance.
Boone's projection: 281 passing yards, 2 passing TDs, 37 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD
Other QBs to start
- Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Dolphins
- Jared Goff vs. Jaguars
Jaylen Warren, Steelers
Najee Harris wasn't able to practice Wednesday or Thursday due to an oblique injury, casting doubt over his status for Sunday's game against the Falcons.
Fortunately for the Steelers, Warren managed to get back on the practice field after missing Monday's contest with a hamstring issue.
Prior to getting hurt, Warren's snaps and touches were on the rise. The undrafted free agent posted 75 yards from scrimmage on nine touches in Week 3, including three receptions. Then he came back after the bye in Week 10 and turned 12 opportunities into 77 yards and another three grabs.
The 24-year-old is the clear favorite to serve as Pittsburgh's lead back with Harris banged up - and the Week 13 matchup is outstanding. Atlanta is the 10th easiest opponent for fantasy running backs and it's given up a top-12 RB performance in six consecutive games.
Warren is an intriguing low-end RB2 for however long Harris is sidelined.
Boone's projection: 83 rushing yards, 41 receiving yards, 3 receptions, TD
Other RBs to start
- David Montgomery vs. Packers
- Isiah Pacheco at Bengals
- Brian Robinson Jr. at Giants
Garrett Wilson, Jets
Wilson gave fantasy managers a glimpse of his abilities early in the season with 214 yards and two touchdowns over his first three NFL games.
His production hit a lull when Zach Wilson returned to the lineup, but ultimately, nothing could stop the wide receiver's emergence as a star. Garrett Wilson exceeded 90 yards in three of his past four appearances, and the recent switch to Mike White at quarterback should provide more consistent stat lines.
Coming off his second multi-score outing, Wilson gets to take on a Vikings pass defense that's the fifth-most friendly unit to fantasy wideouts. It's not hyperbole to suggest the Jets' first-rounder could be a top-15 receiver the rest of the way.
Boone's projection: 106 receiving yards, 7 receptions, TD
Other WRs to start
- Brandon Aiyuk vs. Dolphins
- Christian Watson at Bears
- George Pickens at Falcons
Foster Moreau, Raiders
Finding a fantasy tight end outside of the top five or six players at the position can be a challenge.
Moreau is worth a look this week in what should be a high-scoring affair between the Raiders and Chargers based on the game's projected point total of 50.5.
He's gone over 30 yards in five straight contests and found the end zone in two of his last three. That's enough to earn him low-end TE1 status in fantasy these days.
With the Chargers focused on slowing down Davante Adams, Moreau should see an uptick in targets and receptions. His teammate Darren Waller had four catches for 79 yards when these two teams met in the season opener.
Boone's projection: 67 receiving yards, 6 receptions, TD
Other TEs to start
- Cole Kmet vs. Packers (if Justin Fields plays)
- Evan Engram at Lions
Kirk Cousins, Vikings
It's no surprise that Cousins' two worst games of the season came against his two toughest opponents - the Cowboys and Eagles. He was held under 10 fantasy points in both contests.
The Jets present a similar problem as one the league's best defenses. New York is ranked in the top five of Football Outsiders' pass defense DVOA and allows the seventh-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks on the year.
Cousins has the skill position talent to overcome any matchup, but this isn't the week to force him into your lineup.
Boone's projection: 234 passing yards, TD, INT
Other QBs to sit
- Marcus Mariota vs. Steelers
- Ryan Tannehill at Eagles
Latavius Murray, Broncos
As long as he stays healthy, Murray will continue to have fantasy value down the stretch, but there are a couple things working against him this week.
Mike Boone is back at practice and could be activated off injured reserve. As we saw earlier in the year, Boone is a capable complementary back who could siphon touches and targets away from Murray.
Murray will also face a healthy Ravens defense that's started to find its rhythm against the run. Baltimore hasn't let a running back eclipse 30 rushing yards since Week 7.
Treat Murray as a touchdown-or-bust flex play in Week 13.
Boone's projection: 38 rushing yards, 8 receiving yards, 1 reception
Other RBs to sit
- Leonard Fournette vs. Saints
- Antonio Gibson at Giants
- Tyler Allgeier vs. Steelers
Brandin Cooks, Texans
Cooks was held under 60 yards in seven of his outings this season and has yet to top 90 yards in a single appearance.
With that kind of limited yardage and just one touchdown to his name, it's not even shocking that he's the WR51 in average fantasy points per game.
Cooks has also begun to get out-targeted by teammate Nico Collins, a development that's occurred over the last three contests by a wide margin (28-18).
Maybe you feel more confident in the Texans' ability to put up garbage-time production as seven-point underdogs at home against the Browns, but there are likely better options you can turn to at receiver this week.
Boone's projection: 45 receiving yards, 4 receptions
Other WRs to sit
- Adam Thielen vs. Jets
- Tyler Boyd vs. Chiefs
- Curtis Samuel at Giants
Injuries at tight end
Backup running backs
With the fantasy playoffs almost here, it's more important than ever to load your bench up with high-upside backup running backs.
Here's a list of ball carriers who are rostered in 10% of leagues or less and are one injury away from having a significant fantasy impact down the stretch:
- Tyrion Davis-Price, 49ers (4% rostered)
- Joshua Kelley, Chargers (3% rostered)
- Zamir White, Raiders (4% rostered)
- Keaontay Ingram, Cardinals (1% rostered)
- Mike Boone, Broncos (5% rostered)
Quarterbacks (1QB): Russell Wilson, Matthew Stafford
Running backs: Damien Harris, Kenyan Drake, Cam Akers
Wide receivers: Cooper Kupp, Curtis Samuel, Devin Duvernay
Tight ends: Kyle Pitts, Mike Gesicki
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- QB carousel primer: Which stars could be on the move this offseason?
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- 49ers' Lance expects to be 100% for OTAs